How To Fillet Every Fish | Method Mastery | Epicurious
– I’m Mike Cruz, Manager ofGreenpoint Fish Wholesale,and I’m here to show youhow to filet every fish. To filet fish, I usuallyhave around three kniveswith me, depending onthe size of the fish. One of these butcherknives, it’s really goodfor cutting through heads. This seven inch curved filet knife,and a little five inch guy. You also need a pair of scissors,a steel to keep yourknife sharp, a scaler,and a good pair of tweezersto get those pin bones out. Sardine. I think people kind ofthink of sardines assomething grandpa has in a tin tucked awayand hasn’t touched in like 10 years. Sardines require no tools to prepare. Any scales that you seeon here totally edibleand are always servedwhole, if they’re fresh. To prepare a sardine, you’regonna open that gill plate,grab it from the gills and pinch them out. Once the gills are free, you’llgrab it from the collar hereand without much pressureit tears right off. Now, holding on to thecollar and the gills,and using your finger tosort of open up the belly,you’ll take out all the guts. As soon as you do that, the rib bonesstart separating on their own. And touching one side of the spine,you can use your fingerssort of like a knife,and just run it straight down. And do the same exactthing to the other side. Make sure you’re completely free. Then pick the spine up from the center. You’ll sort of slip the tail through,pull these up and take them out. And then you will havea butterflied sardine. Porgy. Porgy is a classic East Coast fish. I always look at porgiesas the pigeons of the sea,which is not a bad thing. I say that usually becausethey have some crazy colorsin them when they firstcome out of the water. Lots of purples and greens and blues. It’s a classic fishfry spot fish for sure. To start, we’ll grab our scaler,get that fin out of the way. Start peeling scales back,making sure you’re going diagonalagainst the grain ofthe scales from the tailtowards the head, makingsure you’re gettingeverything out of the way that’s gonna getin the way of your knife. If you have difficult scaling these fish,just play around with theposition of the scaler. It just kind of depends on the fishand how much trouble thescales are giving you. Skeletal structure’sgonna be pretty basic. You pull this up, get right downunderneath that collar, and come out. You make your first cut at the head. Porgies can be skinny sometimes,so especially important to make surethat you’re staying tight to the bones. Crack through pinwheels on theribs, pushing down on them,peeling the filet back. One thing I think people don’t give porgyenough credit for is its fat content. And you’ll feel it as you cutthis how oily the fish is. That’s porgy filet. Boston mackerel. This fish is highly oily,definitely has a strongfish flavor, which isgreat because it is a fish. Super good for you, superhigh in omega fatty acids. Really good for braindevelopment and things like that. This fish is awesome,and my personal favorite. Boston mackerel is agreat fish to eat whole,whether you just pullthe guts out and throw itin your oven or butterflying it,and that’s what I’m gonna show you today. With this guy, open up the gill platesand just snip the very tip there. Work around the membrane and open it up,being really careful not topuncture too many organs,and you’ll open this guy up. Get your scissor intothe tip of the gills. Gently pinch and twistand pull up and out. Get a paper towel toclean off the insides. This blood is fairly strong flavored,so you don’t wanna have too much of ittouching the actual filets. We’ll start from thetail, just stay on topof these small finshere, make your first cutreally shallow, making sureyou’re on top of the bones. Opening up that bellycavity, just gently crackingthrough the rib cage and following throughto the other side, crackingthe remaining pin bones. Once you have that sidefree, flip the fish over. Starting from the head andjust using the very tip,just start cracking through those bones. And being careful notto cut all the way downthrough the skin. Then with your scissorsyou’ll cut right in the middleof the tail to get into the bones. Once you here, you canjust pull out and crack. Face the head away fromyou and just get right upagainst those ribs and just gentlywiggle your knife underneath them. Same thing on this side,and just follow them,kind of pulling them awayfrom the flesh as you do it. With these guys, becausetheir bones are so smalland brittle, it’s totally fineto leave the pin bonesin and eat it as is. Branzino. Branzino is a farmed European sea basscommonly eaten whole,sometimes you see filets. This I think is probably oneof the best introductory fish,super low maintenance. You can cook this any sort of wayand it’s probably gonna be delicious. Like with everything else,the scales need to come off. Another great way actually to scale a fishif you’re doing this in your houseand you don’t wanna getscales everywhere isto fill your sink with waterand scale the fish under water. Branzino’s a pretty buttery fish to filet,in that the meat kind of justwants to come off the bone. So when you’re comingthrough the collar here,you really wanna be gentleto only use the very tipof your knife, youdon’t wanna put pressureand start puncturing any organsthat might damage the flesh. So what you’ll do is startyour first cut towards the headand just very gently go downand just open up the spine,except for when you’re gonnahave to come up to the ribs,you’re gonna wanna puta little bit of pressureand just crack through themand then go over very gently,being careful not to touch any organs,and using small but smoothcuts and freeing up your filet. Going on the secondside, free up the collar. And when I go to mysecond position on a fish,I like to use the length of my bladeto make that first cut. That’s because thetail’s a little skinnier,kind of wobbles a littlebit while you’re cutting it. And I’m pushing down on the ribsto flex them out of my way. Once those are free, you can pretty muchput your knife in andjust follow straight down. And you’ll trim up that belly membraneand you’ll have a nice fileted branzino. Striped bass. This is actually a farmraised striped bass. Most of you that will be familiarwith wild striped basshere on the East Coast,you’re gonna see that thisis obviously very different. But with striped bass fisheries beingat such critical conditionsas they are right now,it’s probably a pretty good alternativefor us to start lookingat farm raised stripers. With this fish, we’regonna have to scale it,and with these fish particularly,you can clean up the collars,and those are delicious. And now we’re gonna gut this guy. Cut here, enter withyour scissor facing uptowards the collar and towards the belly,cracking this open, andjust pinch the gills,not cutting through them. You’re gonna twist and go up and out. And you should get most of it with it. This guy, we’ll just take a paper towel,clean the inside out, nowwe’re gonna cut this guy. Pulling taut, I’m gonnamake a sharp angle cut,free up the collar, andthen just gently come downon the back of the spine. Angling up to crack those pin bonesand get through the belly. And the same thing to the other side. Actually just got stuck there. A good thing to do whenyou get stuck actually,say you crack throughthe scales and itselfand you have half thefilet free and part of itstill sort of stuck on there,lift up where you’re stuckand just get the very tip of your knifeand just start scraping little by littleuntil you get those bones free,pushing down and angling yourknife towards the skeletonuntil you’re freed up. And don’t get too stressed,it’s okay, finish your cut. What I’m trimming awayactually is essentiallythe stomach lining, whichsometimes can be a bit tough. As I mentioned before,these little collarsactually make for somevery delicious eating. If you broil them with alittle bit of soy sauceor something like that,they’re pretty muchthe spare ribs of the fish world. Sea bass. Black sea bass is a local fish. This one came in from Massachusetts. They’re a great mild fish, they’re perfectfor pan frying, baking, cooking whole,crudo, all sorts of things. This is a very versatile,very delicious fish. So we’ll take our scaler, youcan put a pretty good amountof pressure on this fish, butyou don’t wanna go too hardand risk puncturing the skin. You take your scissor, just make one cut,insert your knife, and just start to cut. Peel open, and that should takeeverything out in one shot. Some crabs, actually, iswhat he’s been eating. This is just one half of the crab. Now you clean your cutting boards. Cut behind the head, open up the collar. You’ll enter your knifein through the backand make a shallow cutjust along the back,just opening up so you can see the bones. Make another cut, make one here,and you should be good to go. Now you’ll come over thespine on the other sidefor the rest of the filet. What you’ll do is you’ll angleyour knife pretty harshlyand put quite a bit ofpressure down onto the bones. And then when coming up over the ribs,you’ll have some pin bonesthat you need to crack through. And you’ll just start atthe tail, use your momentum,and just go right through them. And then sharp angleto get over those ribs,get all the belly meat,and finish your filet. For the other side,you just flip her over,do the same thing, so you have a sea basswith two nice filets and hopefullynot too much meat on the bones. And save that for some soup. And you’re just gonna trim, there you go. Two black sea bassfilets ready for dinner. Arctic char. Char is a salmonoid, pretty much a crossbetween a trout and a salmon. Mainly farmed, usually inScandinavian countries. You can pretty much expect everythingthat salmon has to offer,just little fatty here,a little more buttery. Definitely a very forgiving fish to cook. Easiest way to filet these fish isto pick it up from the fin, put a fingerright below the eyejust for some leverage,and I would just cut right behind the headon a diagonal and just chop the head off. That goes away, you can make soup. What you’ll do is you’llstart at the top of the spine,just make a small cut, just opening it up,and then very gently follow that line. Then once your filet isfree from the back half,flip your knife over,enter in from the tailwith just the tip and just run it along. Flip back over and finish your cut. And all you wanna do istrim up this rib section,leaving as little waste as possible. And there you go, arctic char filet. Red snapper. These are usually caughtin the Gulf of Mexico. Fish that likes to eat a lot of shellfish,a lot of crabs, a lot of sweet things. This fish is pretty popularwith Caribbean foodsand things like that, but it could bein a really good ceviche,really great tacos. Crudo is a great option, all of it,it’s great, it’s good fish. First we have to scale it. Now fileting snapper,they have some prettyaggressive rib bones actually. That’s something thatyou should look out for. And they’re pretty steep, soyou’ll make your first cutbehind the head, open up the collar,go along the back gently. And these guys have somepretty flaky flesh as well,so you’ll wanna take care tonot be rough with the filet. And when you come tothe ribs, the first onecurves in slightly,the second one follows,and then they become sort of normal. So you’ll wanna have that sharp angle,get that extra meat around that first rib,that second rib, andthen just like normal. Just follow it down, finish out your cut. One thing that’s gonna makethis even a little easier,beyond having a really sharp knife,is making sure that while you’re cuttingyou’re keeping your knife clean. Any extra bits, scales,flesh that’s on there,it’s probably gonna endup getting you stuckand ultimately damaging the filet. That’s red snapper. Catfish. This guy you usually see fried, blackened,some sort of pretty aggressive treatment. Trying to be nice to the fish. They come from some prettygnarly waters sometimes,but ultimately it is a good thingthat we’re eating so much of them. They are an invasivespecies, they eat everything,and they’re very, very resilient. Because of the waters they come from,you do not want to puncture the belly. You do not want the smell ofcatfish guts in your house. For catfish, you’ll makeyour first cut rightin the back of the head, andthen I like to put my knife inand feel where the baseof the spine is and twist,and you’ll make your first cut like that. And then really gently follow the back. Once you feel yourselfget to the rib cage hereon the top half, stop and startfocusing on the rest of it. You’ll cut all the way downto the spine and free it up,going over to the otherside, freeing all that up. And then when you come backand flip your knife over,stay tight to those ribs andsort of just raise the angleof your knife a littlebit more, little bit moreuntil you’re over themand the meat becomes freeat the top like that. Once this little section is free,you can flip your knife back over,and you’ll start to see the ribs. Once you see that, that’swhen you wanna come insort of a sharp angle,avoid everything in there,and finish your filet. Other side is same, just a cut right here. And sometimes they havea pretty thick bone herealong the top fin, andyou’ll have to angle upand sort of over that,finish the rest of it,avoiding the belly and freeing it up. This is garbage. And now I like to switchto a slightly bigger knifeto skin the catfish. You’re gonna wanna make avery slight incision hereat the tail, and as you goin, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle,and start to make yourknife as flat as you canso that you’re up against the skin. Leaving a little bitof meat here at the endjust for something to grab onto. And there’s two ways you can skin these. You can either wiggle your knife,wiggle your knife, wiggle your knifeand hope for the best, orone of the easier ways,you can grab on to thatpiece of meat that you leftand pull the skin,leaving the knife stable. And as you go you can twirlthe skin around your finger,have some fun with it, and finish. And then you’ll haveskinless catfish filets. Trout. Steel head trout is afarmed species of fishrated green for sustainability. Very similar to a rainbow trout,maybe a little closer to salmon in flavor. They’re strong flavored, fatty,really good for poaching,baking, anything you do with salmon,you do with steel head trout. This one has very small scalesand are extremely sticky. These guys can be prettyslimy and sort of difficultto deal with if it’s your first time,but just cut right through the head. Again, you can see thefish has main spine,bone on each side, youcan just start there. You wanna aim to be prettymuch on top of the fins. And with this you wanna makereally gentle slow movements. This is not the mostforgiving fish to filet. Again here you’ll just crackthrough all the bones hereand get into the belly. This you wanna put a lot ofpressure down on that belly. They’re very flexible, sothey’re not gonna break. Other side is similar, start at the tail. Finish your cut. We’re gonna trim up the belly membrane. That’s steel head trout. Tilefish. Tilefish is a deep sea fish actually. They are predators for sure. They like to eat sweetthings like clams, crabs. It gives a slight sweetness to the flesh. It’s very similar to red snapper actually. This guy’s so nice you actually don’t haveto scale these if you don’t want to. If you plan on pan frying this fish,the scales actually puff upand add a nice crunchyelement to the fish,so we’re gonna leave this scale on. Make a tight cut and following up along,all the way to the head, prettymuch right above the eye,and cut through the collar. Because there are scales on this fish,it will be a little bit tougher to cut,so you’ll just take it slowand make shallow cuts using momentum. And tilefish are a little unique in thatmost fish’s pin bones just come toabout the first quarter of the fish,whereas tilefish is pretty muchthe first half of the fish. So for cracking through the pin bones,you’re gonna need some momentum. You’ll start at the tail and sort of justrun your knife up untilyou hear them all crack. And with bellies on these guys,their rib cage actuallyfolds in quite a bit,so you’ll wanna just reallyslowly go along the bellyuntil you start to seethe skin poke throughon the other side, andthen you’re gonna wanna gopretty sharp, get this extrameat that’s hanging on there. And that should free up your first rib,then you’ll follow it down tilit’s all free and finish it. Same for the other side,just finish off this side. Trim up that membrane,clean up your edges,and there you have tile fish. Hiramasa. Hiramasa is mostly eaten raw. It’s usually a crudo. It can be serve in sushi applications. It’s a really good,super firm, buttery fish. I would not recommend cooking it. I definitely think raw isthe way to go for this fish. So this we’re just gonna cut some filets. The gill plate on this guy is actuallypretty easily defined. If you pull back, you’llsee the gill plate rise upfrom the flesh, and that’s exactlywhere you want your knife to go. And just go right straightdown and just open up. Once I’m in, I’ll just spin my knifeand just get it right on top of the bones. Crack through the ribs here. And because this fish is so buttery,also makes it pretty delicatewhen you’re cutting it. Same for the other side,just trim that away. And you’ll reveal areally nice fatty bellythat’ll definitely rival mostcuts of meat that you eat. That is a hiramasa. Pollock. Pollock is a fantastic substitute for cod. Everybody loves cod, it’s likeAmerica’s favorite whitefish,but the fact behind cod fisheries is thatthey’re not looking great, andthey’re heavily controlled. More likely than not when yougo to a fast food restaurantor somewhere that’s selling cod,it’s really probably selling this. Same family, super similartaste, no need to scale it,we’re gonna take the skin off of this one. These guys usually comeguts out, so easy cleanup. And make your first cut. Once you get into there, you can seethe head sort of follows this swoop. And even without cutting it, you can lookat the top of the pollock and you can seethat there’s meat thatkind of goes down two ways. You wanna try and get into that. That’ll give you a niceentry to your first cut. Pollock is slightlydifferent in that top sectionof their bones don’t really start untilafter the first set of fins here. So you wanna take care to pay attention towhere you’re going becauseyou can very easilydamage the filet. For the other side youjust do the same thingand just finish up trimming. Pollock skin is actually pretty tough,so it can handle thiswithout cutting through. And you wanna juststart wiggling that skinand keeping your knifeas still as possibleand you’ll have niceskinless pollock filets. Salmon. Salmon is something thatyou’ll see quite often poachedor baked, lends reallywell to pan searing though. It’s awesome for obviously sushi, sashimi,things like that. With filets you’re just gonna haveyour standard portionfilet that you’re usedto seeing in supermarkets. And with steaks, thebones stay in the steak. It just gives you somuch more salmon flavor,and it’s just a fun way to eat them. So today we’re going to cut some steaks. To begin, we’re gonna scale the fish. Take all these off. To steak a salmon, firstthing you’re gonna want to do,make sure you have no scales,make sure the fish is dry,making it easy to handle,you can get a good grip. With a large knife that is sharp, cut the head off. For steaks, I like to dothem like two fingers,maybe three fingers thick. What you’ll do is you’ll take two fingers,sort of make a mark, twofingers, shallow cut. Same thing all along the whole fish. Also you’re gonna wanna clip any fins. For up here, it’s a little bit easierto just finish that cutjust to free up your belly. I’m just extending fromthat original cut we made,flipping my knife, andcut straight through. Once that’s good, take your big knife,you’re gonna go into that same spotthat you originally madethe incision, one cut down. And then on the way back, you’regonna wanna straight down. When you’re going to finish that cut,put your hand flat withyour fingers safely awayand just straight down. Last little cuts to make sure you’re free. And if you have a littletail portion here,it’s very easy to just filetit up, have a little snack. And that’s a steaked out salmon. Monkfish. These fish lie at the bottom of the ocean,and they have a littleangler on their headthat they use as a lureto attract other fish. And they have massive mouths. If this guy had a head on,it would be the size of this board. Monkfish typically come head off. They are sometimes sold with the head on,usually by request so peoplecan remove the cheeks. These fish have a prized liver,so you rarely see them with head on,rarely see them guts in. The fish pretty much has onebone going straight down. Some of this excess skin, we’lljust pierce it a little bitjust to get it out of theway, because it is very tough. And all you have to do is lineyour knife up perpendicularwith the spine, and you’lljust make that first cutall the way down to your cutting board. Once you’ve touched that,you’ll grab this filetand just start going straight down,just following that spine. You can see how tough this skin is. It’s slimy and it moves. Now for the other side,you’ll just lay it flat down,remove any sort of extraorgans that are on there. You’ll hold from the excess skinand just put your knifeflat against that boneand just follow it straight down. And you can see this fish ispretty much just one bone,no pin bones to worry about. For the skinning, again,you just wanna free upany extra skin here. And with this fish you do not want to goall the way down to the skin. Between the skin and theflesh there’s a membranethat’s actually pretty chewy,so you wanna do your bestto not get that membrane. So you’re gonna leave alittle bit of meat on there. And you’ll know if youget down to the skinbecause your knife isjust gonna slip right out. These fish are also knownas the poor man’s lobster. Texturally it is sort of similar. It’s meaty, it has a nice bit to itand a sort of similar sweetness. Mahi mahi. In the off seasons they come head off,usually they come head on. Heads are nice and square looking,kind of a goofy fishcommonly used in fish tacos. Great applications also inceviche and things like that. It’s a pretty mild fish. There’s not a ton of flavor going on. It’s delicate, I wouldsay, but kind of holdswhatever sort of seasoningthat you’re gonna give it. We’ll start from the head position. Mahi’s filets actuallygo all the way to the topof the head, so expose thatcollar and go all the way up. When you go all the way up here,you’re gonna wanna make sureyou’re not hitting bones,and get all of those pieces of filet. Despite this being sort of a weird piece,that’s a whole portionof a taco right there,their spine is pretty tall, soyou’re gonna wanna make surethat you expose it completelyso you can see everything. Once you’re at that point from the tail,almost a 90 degree angle,you’re gonna come down huggingthat spine pretty tight. When you get to the ribs, you can kind offlatten your knife out slightlyjust to get through the pin bones,and then come rightdown and follow through. For the other side youjust do the same thing. With these you’ll trim the belly. Not really looking to savetoo much of the belly here,’cause of how thin it is,so you can kind of just cut. And mahi is typically eaten skinless. Filets get in your way, you flip them upand get rid of the skin. And you have two beautifulskinless mahi filets. Skate wing. Skate is an interesting fish. They are in the shark and ray family. You can see this is a saddle cut,and essentially this is the nose here. Usually the body would be here,and they have a barbedtail that comes out. This fish definitely has astronger flavor than most,a very unique flavor. I would call them sort of briny almost. Skate is pretty interestingin that all alongthe entire fish is coveredwith these hooked spikes,so you have to beextremely careful of that. And because they’re inthe ray and shark family,everything in them is actually cartilage. I know people who haveeaten skate wings whole,and they’ll eat the cartilageas well, it gets crispy,but filets are definitely common. First thing we’re gonna doif you have a saddle cutlike this, take a pair ofscissors, just separate them. This outer section of the wingis pretty much all cartilage. So to expose, we’ll startfrom all the way back here. They’re a little translucent,so you can kind of seewhere the meat starts. They typically have a prettyaggressive knuckle here,and this is gonna hinder you a little bit. So first we’ll take a bigger knife,make an incision here,and then you’ll justgive it a quick slap downand just free that off. Now we’ll flip the skate over. We’re gonna put ourknife straight down here,the tip of the wing, cutthrough some of the skin,and we’re just gonna give it quick smack. You don’t wanna go allthe way through the skinon the bottom, and it’sjust like skinning a fish. Slowly turn your knife so it’s flat,then you’re gonna wanna hold on here,being careful of any spikesthat are on the bottom,and just wiggle. And we’ll just do the samething and take it all the way. So this is a skate wing,you can take it like this,put it in a pan, sear it, bake it. But one of my favoriteways is to filet it. Right along here you’llfeel the cartilage begins. You’ll follow it up towhere that knuckle was. You’ll feel there, and itcurves back down there. With your knife you’re gonna make a scoreright at the top where you felt that bone,follow it all along, do thesame thing on this side,follow it all along,turn it away from you,and just start your cut. Open it up little by little. And you just wanna stayhard on that cartilage,working in a semicircularmotion and then finish. The top side is usually fatter,so on the bottom side you’lltake a little extra caution,make that score, and continue the filet. And this you don’t have toworry about any pin bonesor anything like that in here. This is ready to go, skate filet. Turbot. Turbot is a flat fish. They lay on the ocean’s floor,cover themselves with sand,and these two eyes are usedto pretty much look straightup while they’re hidingto be able to catch whoever they’re after. Turbot is great. Super buttery, not too heavy in flavor,they’re meaty and yeah, Iwould just consider themsort of a decadent fish. What we’re gonna do, we’regoing to start up here,cut behind the head, free up that meat,open up the belly, being careful notto puncture any organs inside. Along the center of the fishyou can see a depression,and that’s where their spine lies. So what you’ll do isput your knife roughlywhere you think that isand just start cutting straight down. You can free up the tail here too,just to make it a littleeasier on yourself. And once you have a betterbearing of where you are,put your knife in and justslowly start to flatten it out. You’ll crack through some ribs here,again being careful notto puncture any organs. You can slide your finger underneathto free up any membrane that’s there. And you’ll finish yourcut pressing pretty hardup against the bones, and make sureyou’re not leaving anything behind,and finishing your cut like that. We’ll flip it, and nowyou can see the other sideof the spine, so you’ll justget your knife in sharp angle,cutting up through that,and then it’s business asusual fileting this side. Here we’ll spin it around,cut up along the head,free up the collar, findthat middle line here,start your cut, and we’llstart removing from that side. And then we’ll finish this. The turbot, like all flat fish,will have a dark side andthey’ll have a light side. But there’s no tastedifference between the two. And these will be skinned. Try and get as closeto the skin as possibleon these, wiggle. These do have pin bonesin them, but what’s greatabout flat fish is you don’t need tweezersto take them out, you just feel for themand you just cut them right out. Now you have skinless,boneless turbot filets. Fluke. Fluke is another flatfish, same sort of deal. They lie flat on theground, eyes facing up. These fish are a littlemore predatory than turbot. They have some pretty aggressive teeth. These are usually served raw. They’re great for baking,they’re great for pan searing. They have a sweetness to them,super white translucent flesh. With fluke, we’re gonnado it a little different. Same beginning steps,we’ll cut behind the head. And what you wanna do to avoid any guts isreally pull a little harder on the finjust to get that bellyaway from the innards. To cut fluke, put the tip of our knifewhere your first cut is. You’re gonna keep yourknife in one positionand pull the fish towards you,following the shape ofthe fish the whole time. You can come in here, freeup the tail a little bit,and like normal, just startto really feel out those bonesand open up the filet a little bit. Now, when fileting a fluke,your first opening cut hereyou wanna really make sure thatyou’re on top of the bones. These fish have a set of,I guess you can call themfalse bones, that make youthink that you are on the filetsand you are not, and youwill go straight downand damage the other half of the fish. And these fish typically havesome pretty large roe sacsin them, so you wanna becareful not to puncture that. These are the eggs,essentially, of the fish. So this is a female. On the other side you do thesame thing, open up the head,hold tight, avoid theguts, open up the tail. Put the tip of yourknife into your incision. You’ll grab the tail andsort of twist it a littleas you go, and this prettymuch will help keep the partof the fish where yourknife is entering flatand from lifting off of the board. And finish off the filet on this side. And hopefully you’ll have no meat left. You’ll trim up the rib cage. Not really too concerned aboutsaving the belly on these. They’re not very thick. And switch to a longer knife. Get down close to the skin,keep your knife steadyand just wiggle the skin underneath it. And skinless fluke filets. Squid. Most people will knowthis as rings of calamari,but I think that it can beused way more appropriately. If you have really fresh, beautiful squid,I think frying it is kindof doing it a disservice. Doing this thing grilledor quickly pan searedin a super hot cast ironfor like 30 or 45 secondsis really all it needs. Salt, pepper, lemon,you’re having a great day. The first thing youhave to do is understandthis is the body, the tube,and then you’ll havethe tentacles down here,and this is the head, this is the eyes. And if you open it up in here you’ll seethat this is the beak. So yeah, their beaks arekind of like birds’ beaksin a way, they’re very similar,made of like a similar material. They’re very sharp andthey’re terrible to eat. So all of that has to come out. What you’re gonna do isyou’re gonna grab the tube,and inside of the squidyou can kind of feel itjust by holding it, there’swhat feel like a pieceof plastic as its spine. So what you’ll do is, you’ll take a fingerand right where the spinestarts at the bottom,you’re just gonna separate it. And then once you haveit, you’ll just sort ofrun your finger all the way upand sort of hook to grab onto the spine,and you’ll pull everything out. This is the spine, looks andfeels a lot like plastic,but it’s not. And then you have herethis little silver guysis actually where the ink sac is. And if you puncture that,there will be black inkeverywhere and you will not get it out. So now to prep squid,you’ll push the eyes downand just make a straight cutdown right before the beak. And you just throw these away. And then pick up the tentaclesand kind of squeeze gentlyand the beak comes right out. You’ll discard that as well. So now your tentacles are ready to go. For the tube, lay it flat, and you’ll makea really slight cut here, noteven going all the way throughjust enough to kind of give you some spaceto start scraping your knife gently,peeling the skin back. And scaling squid can be quite chewy,so you don’t want it. Now what you’ll do is you’llmake a straight cut downvery gently, being careful not to cutthrough the second layer. Once you get to that second layer,you’ll start to curveyour knife kind of similarto skinning the fish,and if you got it right,you hold your knife in that position,you pick this up and youjust peel it all off. Come back, lay it down on this side,and you just sort of scrapeoff any extra skin that’s left. And there you’ll have it, the clean squid. Octopus. Octopus are incrediblecreatures, highly intelligent,super delicious, and very intimidatingto cook for most people. It’s a great option,it’s decadent, it’s rich. More likely than not be findingthis as a frozen product. A lot of the times they’recoming from Spain or Portugal. Once you have it thawedout and in front of you,very similar to squid in thatthey have a beak as well. Little bit bigger than a squid’s. Pretty sharp too, so youwanna be careful of that. They have a set of eyes here at the top. And this is their head cavity. So what we’re gonna do is just cut rightin between the eyes and sort ofwhere the tentacles startto meet, right there. Put those aside for now. We’ll do the same thingright above the eyesand just get them out of the equation. Then you wanna flip the head inside outand just make sure you’removing any sort of innardsthat might be in there,of course taking careto not break the headopen, we’ll flip it back. So now when you have thehead cleaned and ready to go,you’ll hold it taut and makea really small incision,not cutting through the octopus,just to get the skin toseparate from the flesh. And just peel away any skin,and it is pretty tough,so you’re gonna have to put alittle bit of muscle into it. You wanna just take careand not be brutal with it. It can withstand quite a bit of pressure. I’m grabbing this pretty hard,but I’m not white knuckling the octopus. And just work slowly in batches. And you’ll have a cleaned head. And now go back to the tentacles. What you wanna do, this is the beak here,flip it, and with your finger here,just push like a button andit should expose itself. And from here you’ll just take a knifeand just remove that whole section there. And you can see actuallyhow sharp that is. It looks a lot like a bird beak. Next step would be cooking it. And then you will butcherit once it’s done. This is a cleaned octopus. Hopefully today I’ve made fisha little less intimidating for you. People should consider fisha little bit more like meatand a little less like this foreign entitythat they’re super afraidof and they have to goto a restaurant to get. Nothing terrible is going to happenif you overcook a fish one timeor your fish sticks to thepan and you kind of ruined it. These are learning mistakes. You take those and youjust don’t repeat them. There’s nothing sustainableabout eating one speciesall the time, it’s super importantto just expand your palletteand try different things. I think it will open you up a lot moreto experimenting in cookingand it’s a lot more fun.